The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

 ISSN 0268-0130

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pdf 04. Food partitioning between two syntopic ranid frogs, Rana nigromaculata and R rugosa


Open Access


Authors: Toshiaki Hirai And Masafumi Matsui

AbstractRana nigromaculata and R. rugosa consumed different food resources when they coexisted in Japanese rice fields. Rana nigromaculata consumed prey from many taxa including a small proportion of ants (16% in number of the total prey items), while R. rugosa ate mainly ants (56%). However, presence of the same terrestrial prey types in the bulk of their diets suggests that the frogs forage on the ground syntopically, and do not partition their feeding sites. Moreover, the comparatively wider mouth of R. rugosa (relative to similiar sized R. nigromaculata), suggests that R. rugosa does not eat more ants because of morphological constraints. This dissimilar pattern of food resource utilization seems to have resulted from selection of different prey, as indicated by the stronger avoidance of ants by R. nigromaculata compared to R. rugosa. This food partitioning may be facilitating their coexistence in rice fields.

Keywords: Rana nigromaculata, R. rugosa, food partitioning, prey selection, syntopic foraging

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Please note that as from Volume 31 Number 1 (January 2021) on, the Herpetological Journal will be available as an online publication only - the last print edition will be Volume 30 Number 4.   

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